Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, yesterday allocated €15m in funding to bring back into use 1,008 vacant local authority units with a target of 2,000 revamps by the end of the year costing €30m.
According to Minister O’Sullivan: “I am determined to use every lever available to me to increase the number of social homes. One of the biggest scandals of recent years has been the high number of vacant, boarded up local authority homes. This allocations will refurbish 1,008 of these units and transform them into family homes. It brings to €30m the amount invested in this important programme this year. This investment will see nearly 2,000 local authority homes coming on stream over the coming months.”
The investment will create and sustain hundreds of jobs in the construction sector. In framing proposals local authorities were encouraged to examine the role that community based organisations who recruit, train and engage long-term unemployed people can play in the refurbishment programme.
“This is a positive programme that increases social housing supply quickly. I expect many of the new homes refurbished under this programme to be tenanted in the coming months and I intend to issue a report on completions and tenancies of new homes at the end of October. The refurbishment of boarded up houses is also a very positive development for a local community as it removes an eyesore and a space that can often become a focal point for anti-social behaviour,” said the Minister.